A new year is starting soon, a year likely to be filled with more milestone birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, summer trips . . . all without you.

Those are hard.

It is always so bittersweet to feel like I am enjoying a memory that you should be having with us. “But he would want you to.” Sure. Sure. That’s all true, but it doesn’t make the sinking feeling in my stomach go away when I think about how much time has just . . . gone.

The hardest part for me about a new year is that it feels like someone is literally rolling that clock forward and in turn, pushing life further away from the one I remember you being in. Two years turns into three, then four.

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Grief is so tricky that way. It doesn’t really go away. We always carry it.

It’s kind of like having on a backpack on that can’t be taken off. Sometimes it is so light I almost forget I have it on, I can even pull out a little memory with a smile . . . and other times, like holidays or even when a certain song comes on . . . it feels like someone has filled it with rocks. It feels so heavy I don’t understand how I can move forward.

But we all do.

We will carry the weight until we have another moment where it feels light again . . . and guess what? That’s OK. Carrying it means my kids, your grandkids, will know you. I like to pull out stories about you to tell them.

Happy New Year up there, by the way. I’m carrying around some new memories with me that I can’t wait to share with you, too. We had a girl. Our son started school. You would truly be a puddle over them.

I know, like they say, you want us to move on.

So for now, I’ll carry this memory with me, along with yours, until we can unpack them all together.

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Hannah Dearth

Hi! I’m Hannah! I’m a Christian, Ohioan, wife, mother of 2 (ages 4 and 1) and soon to be foster momma. At Gracefully Broken I write about faith, motherhood, and more, in efforts to show the grace of our Father even in, especially in, our brokenness.